Fire and Fog by Andrew Grey: Release Day Review with Giveaway

Carlisle police officer Dwayne knows what Robin is doing the moment he lays eyes on the young man at Bronco’s club. But he doesn’t know that, like him, Robin also comes from a family who cast him out for being gay, or that he’s still lugging around the pain of that rejection. Robin leaves the club, and soon after Dwayne decides to as well—and is close by when things between Robin and his client turn violent.

When Dwayne finds out Robin is the victim of a scam that lost him his apartment, he can’t leave Robin to fend for himself on the streets. Despite Dwayne’s offer of help and even opening up his home, it’s hard for Robin to trust anything good. The friendship between them grows, and just as the two men start warming up to each other, Robin’s sister passes away, naming Robin to care for her son. Worse yet, their pasts creep back in to tear down the family and sense of belonging both of them long for.

Will their fledgling romance dissipate like fog in the sun before it has a chance to burn bright?

Title: Fire and Fog
Series: Carlisle Cops: Book Six
Author: Andrew Grey
Release Date: July 11, 2017
Category: Contemporary
Pages: 200

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First, I love this series, so when I saw it was up for review… I had to have it!

In this one, we see all the guys from previous books, especially Red, as he’s Dewayne’s partner. I love that. Dewayne, is kind of new to Carlisle and is new to the police force there. After leaving his home town for unknown reasons (we find out eventually), he’s relieved that his sexuality won’t be a problem like it was before. Tired of going home to an empty apartment, he goes to the next town to a gay club to check things out… that’s where he meets Robin…

He and Robin didn’t have a great first meeting, Robin was doing what he needed to do to get by and it got him into a little bit of trouble… not because Dewayne is a cop, but because people just can’t be trusted…luckily, Dewayne was there to help him out… helping him out led to feeding him and that led to taking him home for a place to crash when things went from bad to worse for Robin. Of course, they were attracted to each other, but Dewayne giving him a place to stay and Robin not having anything in his life that didn’t come with a price (good or bad, but mostly bad), they were hesitant to act on anything.

I love the dynamic between these two, they’re such different people at different times in their lives, but yet they have so much in common and it’s heartbreaking. Parents that turn their back on their children is a touchy subject to me…not because it’s happened to me, personally but because I’m a parent to two boys and I can’t in my life think of a scenario where I”d turn my back on them…not ever. Not if they killed the pope or murdered a small villiage….I gave them life and they give me purpose… how do you turn your back on them for something as ridiculously simple as who they chose to love? I cannot understand. Although I will say, what I suspected the whole time, was kind of true….I did not see the twist, so well done, Mr. Grey!

I loved seeing Robin, despite his shortcomings and confusing time in his life, get a hand up from Terry. He didn’t judge what he learned of Robin during his interview, and that showed how much Terry had grown as a person as well. I mean, if you read their story, you know that that’s true anyway, but it was nice seeing it in deeper levels when you’re invested in each story and knew the kind of person Terry was in the beginning… Not that he was a bad person, he never was.. I loved him, but he was a bit judgemental and more than a little shallow. Red is good for him and I loved seeing them both in this one.

I also loved seeing Donald and Alex… when Robin’s sister passes and he gains custody of his nephew (which is in the blurb, so don’t shun me for giving that away), Donald has really come a long way from where we met him in his book. We also see some turmoil between Red and Terry, but that gets worked out too, in the best way.

I loved seeing Robin grow, he was really, in a bad way in the beginning, but with the help of Dewayne, he really comes into himself and transforms in the most realistic way. I loved that. Nothing seemed forced or hurried… Dewayne was amazing and understanding and patient and helpful… Robin has so many esteem issues that stem from such a crappy upbringing after losing his father and gaining a terrible stepfather so soon…. Then he got kicked out and got taken advantage of and then lost his sister…of course, he’s waiting for the other shoe to drop… it always does!

Sigh… I could go on and on about this series. I really could. It’s another fantastic addition to an already amazing series. I love them all so much for so many different reasons, but this one had me tearing up a couple times and it warmed my heart at other times. I just loved the chemistry between these two guys and the family they set on making together. Like I said, I saw the twist coming, I knew to a point that what I saw coming, was coming… but then it tossed me on my butt and I was like, whaaaaaaat? I love when that happens!

Great story, great storyline, fantastic character development and such amazing story telling. I loved every second, even when I didn’t. If you haven’t, you need to catch up and read the rest of this series… if you have, then don’t pass this one up… you’ll love it!

5 well deserved stars from me.


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The Cycle by P.T. Denys: New Release Review

Almost 15 years ago a brutal attack by a violent psychopath changed everything.

In Violence Begets… despite horrific child abuse, Rick St. James and Kevin Vincent were able to find love in each other. They discovered that violence only begat violence when they allowed it to.

They had a choice.

They chose love.

Now Rick’s little brother is faced with the same painful reality that Rick once had to endure. Returning home to help his brother causes the nightmares of the past to crash and merge with the demons of the present.

Love is put to the test and it may not be strong enough to survive The Cycle!

Amazon

 

First things first. If you have not read the first book, Violence Begets– stop what you are doing, buy it and read it. Then come back here. You absolutely cannot read this book without reading the first.

It has been a week since I finished this book. And still I don’t think that my review will even come close to doing it justice. This is a brutal read. It is heartbreaking. It is beautiful. It is fascinating. It will very likely trigger a lot of people for various reasons. There was a big unexpected trigger for me in the book which left me with quite a bit of introspection.

How do I review a book and beg you to read it when I know what a difficult read it is? This is the book to push you out of your comfort zone. But like I said, you had to have read book 1 and if you did, you pretty much know what you are in for. I also REALLY don’t want to give anything away.

This is an amazing details driven book that relies heavily on psychology. Seeing what makes people tick, how it affects them and those around them and how one seemingly small thing can bring it all crashing back.

Jump out of your comfort zone. Read Violence Begets if you haven’t, then read this. Although I suggest giving yourself some happy reads in between.

If you already did read Violence Begets, you must read The Cycle.

 

Pieces of Candy: 5

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The Shape of You by Felice Stevens: Blog Tour, Excerpt and Review

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The Shape of You, a sexy, heart-warming MM romance by Felice Stevens is available now!

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The Shape of You
by Felice Stevens
Publication Date: June 29th, 2017
Genre: Contemporary MM Romance

Too big. Too fat.

All his life Eric Sontag has judged himself on his size, believing love and friendship aren’t in the cards for someone like him. Tired of being alone and scared of his doctor’s warnings, he enrolls in a nutrition support group, determined to change his life. When a beautiful thin man sits next to him, he can’t believe they have anything in common, but conversation between the two soon proves first impressions aren’t always what they seem.

Drifter. Loner.

Corey DeSantis has always been the scrawny waif; he’s tired of struggling with his art and with life. Scarred by the disappearance and death of his drug-addicted mother, he doesn’t wish for love, believing it will bring him nothing but pain in the end. Now his only hunger in life is his desire to paint…until a health scare and his mentor force him to attend a nutrition class where he meets a man who piques his interest. One drunken kiss later, Eric is all Corey can think about.

The same, yet different.

An unlikely friendship is born with both men wanting more but afraid to listen to their well-guarded hearts. When Corey receives shocking news leaving him angry and helpless, it’s Eric he leans on, to help see him through, while a surprising career opportunity finds Eric leaning on Corey for advice. One night of explosive passion leads to a second and soon neither man can imagine a life without the other. Life is shaped by the challenges accepted and roads not taken but as Corey and Eric walk the path together, they’ll discover the most beautiful destination of all. Love.

(Free in Kindle Unlimited)

Amazon US: http://amzn.to/2t2kiLU

Amazon UK: https://goo.gl/Bav4jo

Add to GoodReads: https://goo.gl/tcQzkR

 

“I know you’re awake.”

Feeling Corey’s lips smile against his back, Eric rolled over to face him. Damn, he was so beautiful. Eric had no idea how he’d gotten so lucky to have Corey want him, but as long as he did, Eric would make the most of it, even though he knew how much it would hurt to say good-bye. Because Eric didn’t expect a future or even a tomorrow, he’d take these moments and tuck them away for later.

“How’d you sleep?”

Yawning and scratching his head, Corey shook the hair from his eyes. “Like the dead. Man, you wore me out.”

They gazed at each other, Eric feeling the heat rise to his face. He’d never been intimate with someone he wasn’t emotionally invested in, but something about Corey mesmerized him. Eric was the helpless moth, and Corey possessed that incandescent glow that drew him so close, he could feel the singe of fire.

“Um, well, after we shower, I think I should make breakfast for us. We never had a chance to write down our dinner last night or anything, and I think that’s important.”

Corey unwound himself from Eric and sat up cross-legged on the bed. Fully dressed, the man was a distraction. Naked and disheveled from sleep? Impossible to resist. Eric wanted to pull Corey close and do all the dirty things he’d only seen in porno movies. But showing restraint, Eric rose from the bed to go to the bathroom.

“We kinda got busy with other stuff.”

His heart jumped at Corey’s infectious grin, and he knew from the sensuous glow in Corey’s eyes, he too wanted a repeat of the night before. But pushing aside thoughts of kissing Corey and sucking his cock, Eric focused on the practical.

“Uh, yeah. What do you want for breakfast? I have eggs or oatmeal and fruit. Think about it.”

He closed the bathroom door behind him and rested against it for a moment, overwhelmed by the previous night, then waking up to find Corey hadn’t changed his mind and remained attracted to him. He wondered what would happen if he did lose all his weight. Would Corey want him then?

TSOY-AN

 

Check out Jennifer’s Release Day Review here!

 

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I have always been a romantic at heart. I believe that while life is tough, there is always a happy ending around the corner, My characters have to work for it, however. Like life in NYC, nothing comes easy and that includes love, but getting there is oh so fun and oh so sexy.

I live in New York City with my husband and two children. My day begins with a lot of caffeine and ends with a glass (or two of red wine). I practice law but daydream of a time when I can sit by a beach somewhere and write beautiful stories of men falling in love. Although there are bound to be a few bumps along the way, a Happily Ever After is always guaranteed.

Connect with Felice:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/felicestevensauthor/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/FeliceStevens1

Blog: http://caferisque.blogspot.com/?zx=e071df0101ec6c96

Stay up to date with Felice by signing up for her newsletter here:

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Join her Reader Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1449289332021166/

http://www.felicestevens.com/en

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Santa’s Naughty Helper by Ari McKay: Release Day Review with Giveaway

Shy lawyer Kevin Anderson is presented with an unexpected opportunity when he draws hunky litigator Erik Wilson’s name for their office’s secret holiday gift exchange. Kevin has pined for his friend for a long time, but he fears ruining their working relationship if Erik doesn’t return his feelings. The anonymity of the exchange gives him the chance to let Erik know someone is interested, so Kevin turns the gift into a game: twelve days of presents, each more suggestive, culminating with a Christmas Eve meeting—if Kevin finds the courage to see it through!

Erik is intrigued by his secret Santa, who has given him something to look forward to during the holidays for the first time in years. But as Christmas approaches, he realizes he doesn’t want a mystery man; he wants his best friend, Kevin. When his attempts to instigate something with Kevin fail, Erik accepts the dinner invitation of his secret admirer. Little does he suspect that Santa’s naughty little helper might be just the man to make all his Christmas dreams come true in a holiday friends-to-lovers romance that progresses from sweet to spicy for two sexy lawyers.

First Edition published by Torquere Press, 2012.

Title: Santa’s Naughty Helper
Series: Lawyers in Love
Author: Ari McKay
Release Date: July 5, 2017
Category: Contemporary, Holiday
Pages: TBD (Novella)

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I enjoy Ari McKay’s books, and really love the holiday theme in July, so I wanted to grab this one right away.

I loved the cute premise. The shy lawyer who gets up the nerve to show his Secret Santa recipient, his best friend, how much he wants to spend all the cold winter nights with him. Kevin was so creative with his gift giving, and as he saw how much Erik enjoying receiving the gifts, he was able to become much more daring than he ever expected he would.

One thing I would have liked to have seen a bit more of was Erik’s point of view. I struggled with believing he made such a quick switch into wanting Kevin when he had shown no previous inclination. I think it would have been easily resolved with a bit more of Erik’s POV to help fill in the blanks as to where his mind was at.

I did find some of the dialogue a bit stilted and cliche, with some of the lines not sound as natural as I would have expected from two men who had been best friends for years.

All in all a cute story, with a fun premise, giving you hope for love during the holiday season.

3 pieces of eye candy


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Mai Tais and Murder by J.C. Long: Quick Review and Excerpt

Gabe Maxfield never wanted to be a detective or a policeman or anything of the sort. The closest he wanted to come to the law was writing legal briefs and doing research for a big-shot law firm. Nice and safe, and without all the stress. No unanswered questions, just well-defined legal precedents.

When he moves to Hawaii in the wake of a disastrous breakup and betrayal by an ex, a murder investigation is the last thing he expects to get wrapped up in, but he can’t help himself when a dead body, a hunky cop, and his best friend get involved.

So much for sipping Mai Tais on the beach and admiring the well-tanned bodies around him.

Author: J.C. Long

Series: Gabe Maxfield Mysteries

Release Date: June 12, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-947139-19-0

Format: ePub, Mobi, PDF

Cover Artist: Natasha Snow

Category: Romance

Genre: Contemporary

Word Count: 53000

Sex Content: Explicit

Pairing: MM

Orientation: Gay

Identity: Cisgender

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The sound of banging drew me from the nap I’d fallen into on the uncomfortable, lumpy couch I’d inherited in my new condo. I looked around, confused until I realized someone was knocking at my front door rather impatiently.

I hurried across the room, threw open the door, and was greeted with the sight of a burly Islander pulling a dolly loaded up with boxes. The movers were there, finally. I glanced at the watch I wore on my wrist. It was nearly noon, so only, oh, two hours late.

“Aloha, we’re with the movers,” the man said unnecessarily.

“I thought you were going to be here by ten,” I said, stepping out of the door and allowing the man to wheel the dolly inside.

“Yo, you got choke boxes, braddah.” It sounded like it was meant to be an explanation, but if it was, I didn’t understand it. I’d been in Hawaii for two weeks, and I had not come close to catching on to the local pidgin. I understood what was being said around me about seventy percent of the time, and then suddenly I had no idea. Perhaps he saw the confusion on my face, because he added, not unkindly, “You got a lot of boxes.”

I nodded my understanding, deciding not to press the issue of the lateness; I’d learned in my brief time living on the island of Oahu that things in Hawaii ran differently, as if time followed different rules there. Things that would be done at a quick pace back in Seattle just happened slower here—the whole aloha, relaxed island attitude to blame, I supposed. It definitely wasn’t a bad thing—in fact, I found the lifestyle here to be worlds better than what I experienced on the mainland. It was just an adjustment. Grace assured me I’d get there eventually, and I was mildly successful already, becoming way more relaxed than I had been in Seattle, but when it came to things like this, I couldn’t help but get a little irate.

Didn’t people in Hawaii want their packages on time, too? At least pizza delivery still ran on time.

I stood back and allowed the man and his companion to wheel in more boxes. They were about halfway through unloading when the second man stopped and pulled the door down on the back of the truck, leaving the rest of my boxes inside.

“Hey, what are you doing? Those are my boxes!”

“Nevah mine, braddah. Try wait, yeah? We come back bumbye. We gone go grind.” The bigger guy came out of the condo behind me, patting my shoulder with a beefy hand.

I ran a hand through my hair. “I’m sorry, I don’t quite understand…”

“He said they’ll come back in a bit. They’re going to get lunch.”

I looked over and saw a tall, dark-skinned Islander, bulging muscles all but ripping out of the tight maroon V-neck T-shirt he was wearing. He was about an inch over six feet, with dazzling white teeth and short-cut, dark hair. His eyes were a surprisingly light shade of hazel that contrasted his skin.

“Oh, uh, yeah, okay. Thanks.” God, I sounded like a stammering idiot.

If the hunk of an Islander noticed, he didn’t say anything. “You’ve been here a few weeks, right? Why are you just getting boxes? Not that I’m stalking you or anything,” he added quickly, eyes widening a bit as he probably processed what he said. Saying you weren’t stalking someone made it sound like you were stalking someone. I hadn’t taken it that way, but when I thought about it, I could see how it could sound stalker-like. “I live in the condo next to yours.” He pointed over my shoulder at the door to his place.

I had my suspicions that he was blushing, but with his face as tan as it was, it was hard to tell. It did look like the skin on the exposed, smooth expanse of his chest and neck had reddened a bit, but was likely just wishful thinking.

That’s when I realized I was staring at his chest. Goddamn it, here I was, a twenty-nine-year-old man acting like a fifteen-year-old. “I’m Gabe Maxfield.” I introduced myself to establish that I was not,  in fact a bumbling idiot. “Nice to meet you.”

The guy took my hand and shook it firmly. His touch was surprisingly soft despite the few calluses I could feel, and a warmth spread through me that had nothing to do with the blazing sun. “I’m Maka Kekoa. Hauʻoli kēia hui ʻana o kāua. That’s nice to meet you in Ōlelo Hawaiʻi, the Hawaiian language.”

I tried to repeat it, and he smiled at the way I stumbled over the words. “To answer your question,” I said quickly, trying to move past the embarrassment of butchering the language, “I wasn’t in a rush to get everything since this place came mostly furnished. I shipped them from Seattle at the cheapest—and slowest—rate.”

“Oh, you need these guys back here at a certain time?” he asked, gesturing toward the movers, who still hadn’t driven off, much to my surprise. They were standing close together, watching our interaction with quite a bit of interest.

“I’m supposed to meet a friend today at three, so they need to be here and finished before then.”

Maka nodded and walked to the passenger door of the truck, rapping on it with his knuckles. The door opened and some words were exchanged that I didn’t hear—not that I was paying attention. My eyes were too busy traveling over the nice muscles of Maka’s arms and the very pleasing shape of his ass.

Okay, I will admit it. I had such fun with this book! I seriously cannot wait for the next book (there is a next book, right? When?) to come out.

Gabe, probably one of the most apathetic MC’s to start a book, becomes quite involved in the world around him (c’mon he is in HAWAII!!!!) when his best friend is arrested for the murder of her private detective business partner. He, somewhat unwittingly, falls into clues along the way, while being chased by the people trying to make sure nothing comes of his investigation.

He also falls in love with a hot Hawaiian police detective (who also happens to be a hula dancer. Whew!), and they work through the investigation together, in a fashion–still have to keep everything on the up and up, of course.

Of course, the mystery is solved, not without some serious injury coming to Gabe Maxfield first. And not without leaving some of the mystery open for future books…

This was a fun, flirty, and sexy book, with a bit of mystery thrown in. Grab this one for when you need a night in, and want to venture away to the islands. You won’t regret it!

4.5 pieces of eye candy

J. C. Long is an American expat living in Japan, though he’s also lived stints in Seoul, South Korea—no, he’s not an army brat; he’s an English teacher. He is also quite passionate about Welsh corgis and is convinced that anyone who does not like them is evil incarnate. His dramatic streak comes from his lifelong involvement in theatre. After living in several countries aside from the United States, J. C. is convinced that love is love, no matter where you are, and he is determined to write stories that demonstrate exactly that. J. C. Long’s favorite things in the world are pictures of corgis, writing, and Korean food (not in that order…okay, in that order). J. C. spends his time when not writing by thinking about writing, coming up with new characters, attending Big Bang concerts, and wishing he was writing. The best way to get him to write faster is to motivate him with corgi pictures. Yes, that is a veiled hint.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/authorjclong

Twitter: @j_c_long_author

Website: http://www.jclong.org/

Email:jclongauthor@gmail.com

 

 

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Spun! by JL Merrow: Blog Tour, Exclusive Guest Post, Review and Giveaway

With friends like these . . .

An ill-advised encounter at the office party leaves David Greenlake jobless and homeless in one heady weekend. But he quickly begs work from his ex-boss and takes a room in Shamwell with easygoing postman Rory Deamer. David doesn’t mean to flirt with the recently divorced Rory—just like he doesn’t consciously decide to breathe. After all, Rory’s far too nice for him. And far too straight.

Rory finds his new lodger surprisingly fun to be with, and what’s more, David is a hit with Rory’s troubled children. But while Rory’s world may have turned upside down in the last few years, there’s one thing he’s sure of: he’s straight as a die. So he can’t be falling for David . . . can he?

Their friends and family think they know all the answers, and David’s office party hookup has his own plans for romance. Rory and David need to make up their minds and take a stand for what they really want—or their love could be over before it’s even begun.

Amazon

Riptide Books

Hi, I’m JL Merrow, and I’m delighted to be here today as part of the blog tour to celebrate the release of Spun!, the fourth of my contemporary MM romantic comedies in the Shamwell Tales series.

Bringing the Funny

I never set out to write humour. Whether or not I’ve nevertheless achieved it is up to the individual reader’s judgement, but all I wanted to do at the outset was have fun with my writing. It wasn’t until I started to see a common thread in reviews (“Merrow’s trademark humour”; “JL Merrow brings the funny” etc) that I realised that hey, other people were having fun with it too. Which, obviously, leads to fun squared, and a very happy author. 🙂

I grew up reading all sorts of funny books. The late, great, Sir Terry Pratchett is, of course, my idol—there is nothing he didn’t know about comic timing*—and another early influence was Douglas Adams.

“In the beginning the Universe was created. This has made a lot of people very angry and been widely regarded as a bad move.” ― Douglas AdamsThe Restaurant at the End of the Universe

I discovered The Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy in the library at an early age and proceeded to annoy my poor mother mightily by reading out choice lines whenever she was trying to get on with something else. Who could forget the classic, “The ships hung in the sky in much the same way as bricks don’t”, a line that on one level, tells you nothing at all, but on another, is a fantastically evocative bit of description?

It’s probably not surprising that both Pratchett and Adams were British, as of course was another great influence of mine, PG Wodehouse. Not that I don’t appreciate the humour of other countries, but there’s just something about the dry, erudite and/or absurd wit of my fellow islanders that speaks to my dyed-in-the-wool British soul.

Wodehouse is best known these days for the Jeeves and Wooster books, which spawned the delightful TV series starring an exquisitely young Stephen Fry and Hugh Laurie (okay, I may possibly be showing my age here). He also wrote an immense number of other books, many of them romances featuring plucky young ladies, empty-headed sons of the aristocracy, irascible older relatives, and pigs. (Although the latter generally didn’t feature in the romance bit). All of them sparkled with his gentle, literary humour:

“Freddie experienced the sort of abysmal soul-sadness which afflicts one of Tolstoy’s Russian peasants when, after putting in a heavy day’s work strangling his father, beating his wife, and dropping the baby into the city’s reservoir, he turns to the cupboards, only to find the vodka bottle empty.” ― P.G. Wodehouse, The Best of Wodehouse: An Anthology

For me, letting an idea run away with me, or playing with words a bit, is half the fun of writing. Both Wodehouse and Pratchett were masters at taking an idea and running with it all the way to absurdity and back.

“If complete and utter chaos was lightning, then he’d be the sort to stand on a hilltop in a thunderstorm wearing wet copper armour and shouting ‘All gods are bastards!” Terry Pratchett, The Colour of Magic

I also loved Sue Townsend’s Adrian Mole books, starting with The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole Aged 13 ¾. Adrian is an adorably unreliable narrator. Much of the comedy comes from his confident (and hilariously mistaken) pronouncements about everything from politics to his parents’ tangled love lives.

“I have never seen a dead body or a female nipple. This is what comes from living in a cul de sac.” – Sue Townsend, The Growing Pains of Adrian Mole.

Terry Pratchett has said that writing is the most fun anyone can have by themselves. I’d tend to agree, but I’d add that probably the best thing about writing is connecting with readers. Laughter (this is the science bit) is a social mechanism that reinforces bonding within a group, so there’s something very special about sharing a joke with a reader.

I hope you’ll enjoy the humour in Spun!—and if you do, I’d love to hear from you! And if you’ve got an all-time favourite funny book, why not share it/a quote in the comments?

*or, indeed, most other aspects of comedy. Sir Perry, I kiss your rod**.

**This is by no means as rude as it sounds.

Okay, I will say this quickly to get it out of the way…I have never read a JL Merrow book before (I know, right?) and I am feeling like such a (as the author may put it) “silly git” for it. How have I never read anything by this author?

I decided to do this one on a whim. Merely because I was interested in seeing what the fuss was in this series being re-released and additional work added, as well. I still haven’t read Books 1-3, although I will endeavour to correct that as soon as possible. But wow, this was a lot of fun!

The reader, if not from the UK, needs to be willing to enjoy all the local dialect, and just hope you can get it all in context. There is a ton of that dialect, but it isn’t difficult to suss out most of the meanings, and if you have your UK dictionary downloaded into your kindle, you are golden!

There was so many fun aspects of this book. It was lighthearted, not angsty in the least, although I have to say I was anxious for these two men to get themselves together as a couple! A very slow burn this was, but with small children in the picture, and tons of exes hanging around, it was bound to happen.

David was such a doll! He had such a sweet temperament, and throwing out all his French endearments, as well as seeing his devotion to Gregory made him a character I wanted to know, in person. I wanted to meet David, and hang out with him, whether it was watching “the telly” or trying to cook dinner with him. His love of spending time with Rory’s children was wonderful to read. He truly adored those kids, before he even realized he was in love with their father.

Meanwhile Rory, what a gentle man. He really just wanted everyone to be happy, himself last. He never wanted to make waves, never to fight too hard. Yet he loved, it was so obvious how much he loved those around him, David included. He loved his time with his children, and cherished that time, and those kids as precious, even if he had to cancel time with someone else for them. He was meant to be a father, and a caregiver.

David and Rory together seemed to hit the perfect team. David, being more “worldly”, could easily have looked down on his new postman landlord, for his time with his bigoted mate, or his manner of speech, yet he never did. He always respected Rory. Rory was no different, always showing tremendous respect for David. They worked together on everything, and it showed their joy in spending time together, and with the kids.

What I enjoyed the most though was the enjoyment they found in each other. Cracking little flirting jokes, spending time learning to cook (and burn things) together, finding their way into a comfortable loving place.

I enjoyed JL Merrow’s writing, the subtle English humor, and venturing into learning what family can look like for two men who didn’t realize they were looking for a family in each other.  Looking at JL Merrow’s backlist, I believe I could be spending a lot of time catching up with everything happening across the aisle. And I’ll enjoy every minute of it.

4 pieces of eye candy

 

About the Shamwell Tales

Welcome to Shamwell! A sleepy rural village in Hertfordshire, England, it’s the perfect place to move to for a little peace and quiet—or at least, you’d think so. But as a succession of newcomers to the village find, there’s more going on in these idyllic surroundings than cricket matches on the common and pints of ale in the local pubs.

As a place where everyone’s connected to everyone else, Shamwell’s rife with mishaps, mayhem, and misunderstandings—and the path of true love is no smoother than the ancient stone walls of the parish church.

Each contemporary romantic comedy in this series stands alone, but all feature a cast of characters drawn from Shamwell and its surroundings.

Check out the Shamwell Tales, available from Riptide Publishing!

 

 

JL Merrow is that rare beast, an English person who refuses to drink tea.  She read Natural Sciences at Cambridge, where she learned many things, chief amongst which was that she never wanted to see the inside of a lab ever again.

She writes (mostly) contemporary gay romance and mysteries, and is frequently accused of humour.  Her novel Slam! won the 2013 Rainbow Award for Best LGBT Romantic Comedy, and several of her books have been EPIC Awards finalists, including Muscling Through, Relief Valve (the Plumber’s Mate Mysteries) and To Love a Traitor.

JL Merrow is a member of the Romantic Novelists’ Association, International Thriller Writers, Verulam Writers and the UK GLBTQ Fiction Meet organising team.

Connect with JL:

Goodreads: goodreads.com/.J_L_Merrow

To celebrate the release of Spun!, one lucky winner will receive a $20 Riptide credit! Leave a comment with your contact info to enter the contest. Entries close at midnight, Eastern time, on July 8, 2017. Contest is NOT restricted to U.S. entries. Thanks for following the tour, and don’t forget to leave your contact info!

This post may contain affiliate links. Advanced Reader Copies are accepted by Two Chicks Obsessed in exchange for an honest review without additional compensation.

Unlikely in Love by Susan Mac Nicol: Release Blitz with Quick Review #UnlikelyInLoveRelease

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Unlikely In Love

by Susan Mac Nicol


Short story trilogy

Genre: contemporary romance

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Unlikely in Love_4

Three delightful short stories about how love begins in the most unexpected ways.

Meet Elliot and Dan in ‘Benchpressed’
City planner Elliot meets personal trainer Dan and between them, they whip the gym into shape…
“I happen to think you have a very nice belly,” Dan murmured. “It makes a change from the usual devotion to keeping a six pack.” His tone went dreamy. “I like a man with a bit of meat on him.”
Oh, fuck me. That sounded a bit awkward, even to me. My body flushed with heat and I cleared my throat.

Meet Davey and Gus in ‘Dear Davey’
Agony Aunt columnist Davey has an unfortunate habit of causing mayhem for fellow worker Gus. He also has no filter. Remind you of someone?
“Oh, and I’m sorry I set fire to your waste bin yesterday,” I muttered.
“Who else would it have been?” he said. “Do I need to take out company hazard pay when I go out with you?”
I huffed, flicking my hair back from my forehead. “Puhleaze. It’d be worth every penny, I promise.”
Behind me, Gus’s cologne invaded my nostrils and I closed my eyes, inhaling his scent.

Meet Cooper and Robbie in ‘Banana Appeal’
An errant gecko brings Graphic artist Cooper meets neighbour Robbie together. There may also be a banana involved.
I took a step forward, brandishing the banana toward him as if entreating him to eat it. Robbie took a step back, a wary look crossing his face. I wondered whether he’d expected me to ask him to fellate it. Because that would have been a complete waste when my dick was willing to be wrapped between those full lips. The banana didn’t stand a fucking chance if I got in there first.

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This short story trilogy is truly short. You just start to get into the meat of the stories and boom, moving to the next one. But what I enjoyed about these was the format that Sue put these in. It wasn’t just a quick story. It was stories about beginnings, and in a way endings. It’s as if she wrote the first chapter, the conflict, and then threw in an epilogue at the end (and this last part she truly did, I loved that creative idea!).

Of course, these couldn’t be angsty, when you are talking a few thousand words a piece. But there was tension, and questioning, some laughs, some sexy times, and of course, the HEA that I always love Sue’s work for. These six men find each other, and find the wherewithal to connect despite having admired from afar, in a short period of time, and it really was a fun ride.

A part of me would love to see these stories fleshed out into a full novel, but I love how perfect they are right where they are. There is a beginning, a middle and an end. And if you mess with what you have there, then you turn the stories completely inside out. This was a fun idea that I enjoyed reading.

4 pieces of eye candy

 

Susan Mac Nicol is a self-confessed bookaholic, an avid watcher of videos of sexy pole dancing men, geek, nerd and in love with her Smartphone. This little treasure is called ‘the boyfriend’ by her long-suffering husband, who says if it vibrated, there’d be no need for him. Susan hasn’t had the heart to tell him there’s an app for that…

In an ideal world, Susan Mac Nicol would be Queen of England and banish all the bad people to the Never Never Lands of Wherever -Who Cares. As that’s never going to happen, she contents herself with writing her HEA stories and pretending, that just for a little while, good things happen to good people.

Sue is a PAN member of Romance Writers of America and is a member of the Romantic Novelists Association in the UK. She’s also Editorial Manager at http://www.divinemagazine.biz, an online LGBTQ e-zine, and she’s a Charity Board trustee at http://wwwbeingmecampaign.com in London. She’s passionate about research for her books and has stayed in a circus, taken lessons from a blind person on how it feels to be blind, and travelled to a lighthouse with maintenance crew to see first-hand what it’s like inside. She’s also writing a screen play with a Hollywood actor named Nicholas Downs, with a view to taking her latest release, Sight Unseen, to the big screen.

Susan Mac Nicol

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This post may contain affiliate links. Advanced Reader Copies are accepted by Two Chicks Obsessed in exchange for an honest review without additional compensation.

Shape of you by Felice Stevens: Release Day Review

Too big. Too fat.

All his life Eric Sontag has judged himself on his size, believing love and friendship aren’t in the cards for someone like him. Tired of being alone and scared of his doctor’s warnings, he enrolls in a nutrition support group, determined to change his life. When a beautiful thin man sits next to him, he can’t believe they have anything in common, but conversation between the two soon proves first impressions aren’t always what they seem.

Drifter. Loner.

Corey DeSantis has always been the scrawny waif; he’s tired of struggling with his art and with life. Scarred by the disappearance and death of his drug-addicted mother, he doesn’t wish for love, believing it will bring him nothing but pain in the end. Now his only hunger in life is his desire to paint…until a health scare and his mentor force him to attend a nutrition class where he meets a man who piques his interest. One drunken kiss later, Eric is all Corey can think about.

The same, yet different.

An unlikely friendship is born with both men wanting more but afraid to listen to their well-guarded hearts. When Corey receives shocking news leaving him angry and helpless, it’s Eric he leans on, to help see him through, while a surprising career opportunity finds Eric leaning on Corey for advice. One night of explosive passion leads to a second and soon neither man can imagine a life without the other. Life is shaped by the challenges accepted and roads not taken but as Corey and Eric walk the path together, they’ll discover the most beautiful destination of all. Love.

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Okay, So…first we have Corey; told by his doctor that if he didn’t lose weight, he was facing health problems that could be life threatening if he didn’t get his weight under control. It scared him enough to join a nutrition class to make some changes in his diet and help himself.

That’s where he meets Corey. Corey has the opposite problem, the life he’s lived hasn’t been easy and it’s affected him in a different way. He “forgets” to eat and when he does manage to force himself to eat something, it’s nothing substantial and he’s recently been to the hospital with a legitimate scare about his health as well. Modeling for his artist boss, he tells him he’s going to have to start taking better care of himself, or he can’t let him model anymore. So, these two guys agree to help each other out.

I liked the opposites attract vibe. They both had major things going on in their lives and it was great that they had each other there as a support system. I thought both of them could’ve benefited in talking to a professional, but they seemed to be okay when they weren’t trying to out-hurt each other. Neither of them had a good opinion of themselves and both of them had terrible self-esteem and self worth. It was hard to listen to them go back and forth over who’d been hurt worse and who had the more terrible life. I was glad they had each other though. I really felt like Eric helped Corey find himself a little bit, as well as pushed him to do some things that he’d been dreading for a while. He helped him heal.

Another thing I didn’t like, was…okay, I’m a big girl…always have been, always will be. Never in my life have I been treated so terribly by literally everyone I came in contact with like these two did. 6’3 and 240lbs, is not morbidly obese, yet seems like Eric can’t leave his house without someone calling him fat. That’s ridiculous. I know people are jerks, believe me I get that…this was waaaay too much. Like, we already feel sorry for him, you don’t have to make every single person he makes eye contact with go out of their way to tell him he’s fat. It was overkill and eventually had I thought of it sooner, I wanted to keep a counter of how many ridiculous times someone called him fat or treated him badly because he was minding his own business on a subway, being fat, or taking a class while fat. I wish I had, now.

Other than that though, I did enjoy these two finding someone to stand by you, loving you, even when you thought it was impossible for someone else to…when it was impossible for you to love yourself. I was glad these two found each other.

3 pieces of eye candy for me

This post may contain affiliate links. Advanced Reader Copies are accepted by Two Chicks Obsessed in exchange for an honest review without additional compensation.

Texting, Autocorrect and a Prius by M.A. Church: Release Day Review, Exclusive Guest Post, and Giveaway

Clay McDonald finds the perfect car on Craigslist and is quick to send the seller a text:

Is your penis still for sale?

AutoCorrect strikes again. Damn—he should’ve proofread. How embarrassing.

Luckily Darrell Anderson, a mechanic and the owner of the Prius, is more amused than offended, and the two men agree to meet. When they do, the attraction is instant, and a date is arranged. But a series of mishaps, misunderstandings, and misplaced assumptions sorely test the new relationship.

In a contemporary romantic comedy about the perils of technology and dating in the modern world, a text that went so wrong might just lead to something so right—but only if Clay can refrain from jumping to conclusions and give love the benefit of the doubt.

Title: Texting, AutoCorrect, and a Prius
Author: M.A. Church
Release Date: June 28, 2017
Category: Contemporary, Humor
Pages: TBD (Novella)

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Some Fun Facts About Cell Phones

  1. First mobile phone was Motorola Dyan TAC 8000X and was invented in 1983 by Martin Copper. It could only store thirty contacts and weighed 1.1kg. You could only talk for thirty minutes and cost close to four thousand dollars. And ya’ll thought cell phone were high dollar now, lol.

 

  1. The first smart phone was made by IBM and was launched August 16, 1994. It was the first commercially available touchtone screen and came pre-installed with functions like a calendar, calculator, address book, and Note Pad. Oh sooo many options! (And I remember this too lol.)

 

  1. Apple sold million iPhones in 2012 in fourteen weeks—or 262 phones per minute. I can’t even wrap my head around that.

 

  1. And speaking of iPhones, there was an iPhone5 fully coated with 26 carat black diamonds. For a measly $15.3 million you can own one too. Who’s with me???

 

  1. The highest mobile phone bill was $201,000. 00. Someone’s gonna be grounded for a looooong time. Well, they would be after I picked myself off the floor after passing smooth out. Then they better run.

 

Cell phones, lol. Gotta love them. And most of us can’t live without them… me included!

He got out, locked his truck, and walked over to the ’Vette. The car was a thing of beauty, there was no doubt about that. Regrettably he didn’t get close enough last night to tell a whole lot about it, but it certainly looked like the one he’d seen before.

“Well, I’ll be damned.”

Clay jerked his head up. Holy shit. There in the garage, standing next to the Prius, was a man. A man who looked like the guy he saw the night before at Milo’s and earlier in the day in town.

“Oh my God,” Clay said again. He seemed to be stuck on repeat. “It’s you.”

The guy smirked. “Funny, I was thinking the exact same thing. You’re the guy who was eye-fucking my car last night.”

Clay’s ears began to burn. He was pretty sure he was turning red in the face. “Hey, it’s a nice-looking car.” So was the owner. “I’m Clay McDonald.”

The guy who owned the Prius walked from the garage, hand held out. “Nice to meet you, Clay. My name is Darrell Anderson. You’re interested in driving a Prius, right?”

Well, if Clay wasn’t red before, he sure was now. That damn message was going to haunt him forever.

I haven’t read this author before Texting, Autocorrect, and a Prius but just the title intrigued me, mostly because autocorrect gets me every time, and it can be a super hilarious mistake. It is also something that comes back to haunt me sometimes, which I expected for poor Clay. It does, but only one time, which I won’t lie, disappointed me slightly, cause, well, penis is a great autocorrect! 🙂

These two had quite a few misunderstandings to deal with, but they seemed to clear all those up fairly efficiently. I was definitely looking for some of those issues to linger, but they didn’t. It was an issue, then once they fixed it, they moved on (which is good for a relationship of course, but not as much for building tension).

I just felt that there were things that could have been expanded upon, or otherwise left out because there wasn’t really a need for it. E.g. Clay’s sister wanting to set him up on a blind date with, as it turned out, Darrell. It was brought up, then later it was revealed, and there was a very quick conversation on it, but it was as if the drama came much more from what caused the initial conversation (Darrell’s friend) than anything else.

In the end, I needed more. More laughs behind the jokes, more tension behind their issues, just a bit more of what I thought was a fantastic story idea. I enjoyed it, but wanted more.

3.5 pieces of eye candy


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M.A. Church is a true Southern belle who spent many years in the elementary education sector. Now she spends her days lost in fantasy worlds, arguing with hardheaded aliens on far-off planets, herding her numerous shifters, or trying to tempt her country boys away from their fishing poles. It’s a full time job, but hey, someone’s gotta do it!

When not writing, she’s on the back porch tending to the demanding wildlife around the pond in the backyard. The ducks are very outspoken. She’s married to her high school sweetheart, and they have two grown children.

She is a member of Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America.

 

 

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This post may contain affiliate links. Advanced Reader Copies are accepted by Two Chicks Obsessed in exchange for an honest review without additional compensation.

Regret by Christina Lee: Release Day Blitz, Excerpt and Review

Regret RDB Banner

REGRET

CHRISTINA LEE

M/M ROMANCE

RELEASE DATE: 06.26.17

COVER DESIGN: KANAXA

 

Regret Cover

When Brian “Brin” Schubert’s condo floods, he takes his co-worker up on the offer to stay on his crappy futon for a while. The last thing he expects is for his friend’s roommate to be the one guy he despises the most. The same guy who stomped on his heart senior year of high school. And by the looks of the girl on his arm, the same man who’s still deep inside the closet.

Nicholas Dell never predicted that eleven years later, one of his greatest regrets would show up on his doorstep down on his luck. Nick has made some terrible mistakes—story of his life—and he’s been paying for them ever since. And if the guilt and shame aren’t enough, his first crush had to turn into one of the sexiest men he’s ever laid eyes on.

Nick and Brin have weeks to steer clear of each other. Weeks to avoid strangling each other. But when stubbornness leads to skyrocketing sexual tension, hate-sex doesn’t seem like such an awful way to work through their frustration. Except hate is a powerful emotion, especially when it’s turned inward. And in Nick’s case he’s been drowning in a sea of self-loathing for so long, he can’t see his way out.

As Brin reconnects with Nick, his perception of what really happened in their past begins to change. He’s finally ready to forgive him and take a second chance on the one guy who stirs him like no other. But Nick’s demons are complicated, heart-wrenching…demanding. So devastating, he might never allow himself true happiness—even with the one man who’s always owned his heart.

Goodreads: http://bit.ly/2rjELhF

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Regret Teaser 1

3 Regret Teaser

Tally pawed at the pillow for a few seconds before finally sinking down, apparently resigned to her position. I straightened to back out of the room, only then allowing my gaze to slide over Brin’s sleeping form. My pulse spiked when I noticed his eyes on me.

“Not sure Tally will want to sleep without you,” he rasped out. The words were like a thunderbolt to my chest. As if he was referring to more than the dog finding her way to my bed.

“Not sure I’ll want to sleep without her,” I replied in a hoarse voice, attempting to get my emotions under control.

Without you. Because you’ve taken up residence inside my heart once again. But maybe you’ve always been there, winding inside my rib cage, coiling around my lungs. Making it impossible to breathe, to think, to stop wanting.

As I turned to leave, his warm fingers curled around my wrist, searing into my skin. My breath caught in my throat. It was the first time he made the first move and my heart bloomed into an impossibly large bouquet of hope and aching desire inside my chest.

Our gazes snagged and held as his other hand slowly reached for the edge of the blanket and pulled it aside.

Regret (Under My Skin, Book #1) Christina Lee

This is a second chance kind of story between Nick and Brin, who went to high school together and crushed pretty hard on one another. Brin was the smart one and Nick a jock, which in high school, as we all know, doesn’t go so well…Also, Nick was closeted, but not because of typical reason’s… just trust me, it all makes sense.

My heart broke for Nick; for all he’d been through in his life. I couldn’t imagine such tragedy and to be honest, the few times I got frustrated with him, it was impossible not to understand where he was coming from, because… you could see the hurt in him, every second. He carried such guilt with him, it was impossible for him to see passed anything else. He knew he hurt Brin, he’d thought about him often over the years, but never seen him again, until his roommate Elijah offered their guest room to his friend from work…Who just happened to be Brin.

It’s rough at first, because like I said…Brin was hurt and angry at Nick and Nick, had such a low self-worth and he was hurting too. Brin didn’t make it easy on him, which hurt to read because you could see how remorseful Nick was. Brin didn’t know the facts though, he didn’t know what Nick was living with, then and now. Had he given him a chance to explain all those years ago, he might’ve but I feel like, it wasn’t their time then. I feel like Brin came back into Nick’s life at a time he really needed him and I was so happy when he finally confided in Brin.

This story was hard…I definitely shed a few tears during their journey, which isn’t really saying much because I’m a crier…but, it was so heartfelt and raw and heartbreaking and hopeful that you can’t help but to feel for both of these guys and their families. Similar in a way.

 

I loved seeing Brin’s family being so accepting, even though I saw the reservations his dad had, I was so glad that got worked out by the end. I loved Nick’s mom, being a mom myself, I couldn’t imagine seeing my kid in so much pain all the time, I felt like Nick needed her to set him free from everything he was carrying…And while she done what she could, Brin done the rest.

I don’t want to spoil too much of it and it’s so hard, especially when all I want to do is gush about it.

If you like second-chance romances with heartbreaking storylines and happy endings… you’ll love this one, as did I. I can’t wait to see what happens next for these guys and I’m really hoping for more about Elijah, and him getting away from his controlling boyfriend. Overall, it’s a great start to a really good series, I can’t wait to read more.

4 pieces of eye candy from me!

CL Pic

Mother, wife, reader, dreamer. Christina lives in the Midwest with her husband and son–her two favorite guys. She’s addicted to lip balm, coffee, and kissing. Because everything is better with kissing.

She writes MM Contemporary as well as Adult and New Adult Romance. She believes in happily-ever-afters for all, so reading and writing romance for everybody under the rainbow helps quench her soul.

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This post may contain affiliate links. Advanced Reader Copies are accepted by Two Chicks Obsessed in exchange for an honest review without additional compensation.